Chapter 3

Lea looked herself in the mirror in the bathroom of the hotel restaurant, after promptly excusing herself to get her composure together again. Tears falling down her face, she furiously scribbled a few more notes.

If you reject a player like they reject so many others, they are now in 'taste of their own medicine' mode. They might never speak to you again, to find easier pursuits, but if your player is a true all-star, he will welcome the challenge. But rejecting him is the hard part. If you get in a dangerous zone, don't be afraid to call a friend for support.

Lea sniffed back her running nose and closed her notebook, stroking its purple plastic cover fondly. Her current evening with Trent had given her so much to add to her Player Hater notes, a book she had not written in for months. Soon, she would share her experience and help many girls catch and release even the most harmful of players unscathed. 'Operation Trent Trap' was far from finished.

She was proud of herself for refusing Trent his victory, even for just the moment, and walking out of that room to escape to the bathroom. But even her advanced amounts of baller knowledge could not be a fair match against a breed of man whore like Trent. He was on a whole other level. He was a player on steroids. That's why she was calling for backup, to that one person who always bailed her out in these exact Trent problems back in the day.

"Hey, Lea!" Jonnie answered at once. Her tone seemed like she was starving to hear a familiar voice. "Been a long time! What's up?"

"Jonnie, how far are you from New York City proper? You live here right?"

"Yeah, but-"

"I really need your help. Do you know where the Pierre Hotel is?"

"Well, yeah, but-"

"I'll pay your cab fare if you come."

"What? You're in New York?"

"Business trip. Only for a couple days. But wouldn't you know it, Trent is one of the models for our company. I'm in the bathroom of the hotel hiding because I'm weak, Jonnie! I need you to come over here and rescue me."

"Why don't you tell him yourself? I thought you were over him and stuff. Be bold!"

"Jonnie, please!"

Jonnie sighed on the other end.

"You really need me?"


Another weary sigh.

"Okay, I'll be there. I'll call you when I walk in. Stay where you are for now."

Lea took her advice, tapping her fingers on the arm of the couch. She entertained herself with games on her phone, but soon, Trent was texting her.

Sent: 7:48 pm

From: Trent

Hey, u get lost?

Lea texted back at once, saying she was waiting for Jonnie to get here. Lea expected his reaction of 'why the hell is Jonnie coming?' but was instead surprised to see his actual reply:

Sent: 7:50

From: Trent

K w/e.

Lea stared at the text in utter confusion. He was okay with Jonnie coming? Was he expecting a threesome or what?

Lea exited the bathroom to see Trent outside the door waiting for her.

"Look," Trent said to her at once. "I'm sorry I'm so damn hot and intimidating, but you don't have to go hiding in the ladies room. It's totally juvenile, and I'd come after you anyway if I really felt like it."

"The truth is, Trent, that I can't stand you. Around you, all I think about is sex, which makes me just like you, which makes me something I can't stand!"

"So you'd only be using me for my body… Strangely, I'm okay with that."

Trent slid his hands around her hips, but she promptly slapped them away.

Watch the hands, ladies, watch the hands. At all times, know where your players hands are.

"What's that you're writing in?" Trent wondered, trying to peer over upside-down at Lea's purple notebook. "Some work thing, I'm guessing?"

"Not exactly," Lea replied. She couldn't stop her cheeks from going red, and Trent never missed a detail. He pushed on.

"Oh, a journal, like Jonnie?"

"Kind of."

"Ooo, let me see…"

"No. It's private."

"Now I have to see. Give it."

Trent snatched it out of her hands, bringing it close to his face, much against her protests. She tried jumping up to his high level to grab it back, with no such luck opposing a skilled ex-athlete.

Trent almost immediately started laughing.

"Wow," he scoffed. "This isn't how I think at all."

He pointed off to a shorter brunette sitting with what seemed to be her date, looking bored.

"For instance, see that girl? She's on her second, maybe third date, and wondering if it was even worth a free meal to listen to this bozo's blabber. Anyone would look better than the guy she's with. A simple bump to her chair and an apology later, she's in bed with me. That's how I think. It's not science, or some set skill. It's all relative experience."

Lea would like to have understood him, but she then spotted Jonnie weaving her way through the dining hall over to the bathrooms and quickly disregarded Trent. She waved her over so Jonnie would be sure to spot them. Jonnie looked different, her already dark hair dyed a shining black and cut shorter. No more bounce was in her stride, but only a sense of seriousness. Gone were the bright, colorful ensembles and replaced with grays and blacks.

A strange look came upon Trent's face when he spotted Jonnie. A look of warmth came over him, like a fond familiarity he welcomed. Lea sometimes envied Jonnie for having such a bond with the boy's little click. She had a relationship with them all on a certain level that Lea would never obtain. To them, Jonnie was one of the guys, and Lea was the girly girl, fragile and otherworldly.

"Jonnie, thank God," Lea said, breathing a sigh of relief. She hugged her in greeting. Jonnie made to hug Trent too, but the man just folded his arms at her. Lea was surprised at this, as his attitude had just done a three-sixty in mere moments.

"So, you're here to cock-block me," Trent announced, a glare shadowing his eyes. Jonnie matched his position, more for mocking than anything else.

"That's right."

"So what else is new?" Trent huffed sarcastically.

"Apparently, not you taking advantage of unsuspecting girls."

"Well, Rebel Forces, who was it that put Lea in my way in the first place…? Hmm, let me think…"

They had a staring contest with one another. There was an animosity between the two of them that Lea had no idea of the reasoning behind. Awkward silence ensued.

"Ahem!" Lea coughed a little too loudly, in way that was less than petite. Several people around stopped to stare, as Trent and Jonnie turned around and directed their attention at her too.

"Jonnie, why don't you go hold the taxi for us."

"You've got five minutes, then I'm coming back," Jonnie warned, giving Lea a finger of warning, then headed out the way she came in. Lea and Trent followed her as far as the front lobby.

"I'll be along in just a second, okay?" Lea assured Jonnie.

Jonnie rolled her eyes and put a hand on Lea's shoulder.

"You'll be alri-?"

"I'll be fine," Lea interrupted her quickly. Jonnie gave Trent a final threatening glare, then went ahead without them.

Lea turned back to Trent, giving him a strange look. Trent was taken aback for a moment, trying to decipher what she was thinking.

"What?" he said at last. His ignorance was only skin deep.

"What was that?"

"What was what?"

"You, being mean to something attractive and female. She was even, like, wearing a skirt and a blouse that showed boobage! What's the matter with you?"

Trent made a sour face and looked elsewhere, not answering.

"I don't stand for Jonnie anymore. Why did you invite her here?"

"She helps my mind win." Lea shifted her feet as she stared at Trent with more confusion. She took a wild guess as to what was the matter. "Look, just because she didn't quit school to come back when Ryder was in rehab…"

"It's not about Ryder."

"Of course, it's about Ryder!" Lea insisted. "You were the closest to him- everyone knew that."

"It's not about RYDER!" Trent said with such intensity that everyone around silenced again. Lea spotted the security guard looking as if he was deciding if he needed to come over now. Then Lea saw something… else.

Trent, with no fringe and no frills, just Trent. He was looking in the direction that Jonnie had gone. She was through the window, her back to them, waiting patiently by the cab.

It all came together, blasting over Lea's consciousness like a hurricane wind. Years of torment and confusion over this man, explained in an instant. It made sense, all of it, from the very beginning. Even back when Jonnie first moved into the dorm house. Trent had always been the greatest at hiding secrets, even from those who knew him best. But now, it seemed as if he wanted Lea to know, without, of course, having to utter it in words.

"You hate yourself…" Lea breathed. "For liking her."

A small gasp escaped from Lea when Trent looked down. He didn't look down to anyone.

"Was I just to fill some empty space in your life?" Lea pressed. She doubted that was true, since this was the same man who had run over Ken with a car for her. Then again, this was the same man who didn't fight for her to stay when the time came either. He never did tell her he loved her. Maybe he was right all along. Maybe he didn't really know what love was.

He was still determined to look anywhere but at her.


On that last serious word, Trent locked his gaze on her. He then chuckled nervously in that way he did right before he told his dumbest lies. He shrugged a shallow apology, and said:

"Of course not, doll. You know you're the only one for me… I'll catch you at work tomorrow."

With that, he waved her off, turning to head for the elevators to get a good night's rest, alone. Lea smirked, in a way only Trent himself could have taught her.

"Look at that!" Jonnie said, coming back over to Lea in the hotel lobby. Lea hadn't even seen her come back in. "You, chasing Trent off all by yourself! I'm so proud. You're finally rid of him."

"Yeah," Lea smiled meekly. "I really am."

Once inside the cab, Lea took out her notebook and wrote down the final words to her Player-Hater book. She stared at the title for a moment pensively, then scratched it out and gave the book a new name: The Anatomy of a Player. It seemed more fitting.

There is the rare occasion that a player has more inside, in the form of a past background that may take you by surprise, making you see them in a whole new light. They are still human, after all, and something, or someone, just might have made them shed a few tears themselves. Realize that they are not something to battle, to fear, or to hate. Don't hate the player, hate the game. They are people like you, and in the end, have feelings hidden deep down… somewhere. Maybe those feelings are for you, or… maybe not.


Hope you enjoyed this short interlude to the JONNIE SEQUEL! I hope I didn't fool anyone who thought this was a feature-length story, but then again, maybe I did like messing with you just a bit. Recent (unforeseen) events have inspired me to continue with this series in my firsthand ways. Please review, and stick around for Jonnie the Sequel, coming soon.